Five years ago this month I was in Frascati, just outside Rome. It was a place I’d never heard of, but my brother and his fiancee at the time had been and fell in love with the town. So they decided to get married there.
I was very privileged to be asked to be my brother Paul’s best-man. The whole occasion was wonderful and us Scots impressed the locals with our dashing kilts.
I had learned that Frascati had a team at that time Lupa Frascati but last season they moved 29km south to Aprilia and were renamed Lupa Roma FC. I would pass the old ground in Frascati each day as I headed from the hotel to the town.
Now this was all before I had this blog. So I wasn’t as well versed in the footballing culture of the town as I should have been. That said it seemed like a very relaxed place, where football was an afterthought. That said, I did see the Lazio youth team walking about the town centre one day.
The holiday and wedding were both fantastic. In Italy, one of the countries major passions is food. Frascati is no different.
At the wedding we had a huge banquet just to welcome us all back from the service, then we all sat down to a carb heavy five course meal. It was absolutely wonderful, but also slightly mental (I felt like a turkey being fattened up for Christmas).
When you go through the town and it’s all food and drink (Frascati is also famous for their wine) orientated too. Cantinas, restaurants, gelaterias (ice-cream parlours), Pizzerias, bars, food stalls and bakeries line the streets. It’s impossible to go hungry when you visit Frascati.
The Bakeries were always joyous to walk past with the smells of bread inviting and the cakes looking superb. Now many of you will believe I’m describing your idea of heaven and that this is the food porn part of the article.
Yeah not quiet. The bakers in Frascati literally have food porn in the windows, just incase you needed to be enticed further. There would be rows and rows of cookies in the window. They would be not to dissimilar in look to gingerbread men. But the main difference is that these biscuit ladies would have their ‘bits’ out. The little Frascati delicacies would show off their ‘THREE boobs!’.
It was quite bewildering. My brother Paul is a big lover of all things Italian (hence why he got married there) and has also learned the language. He told me the reason for the cookie.
This is what I can remember of that story. She has three breasts, two containing milk and the other wine. They were used to feed the town. Now if that is wrong, I apologise.
To be honest I thought my affair with that small, glorious town just outside of Rome would finish there.
But as Paul and Lauren left for Frascati to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, Lauren told me of this bakery that was run by the family of former Italian footballer.
They knew no more but had noticed more information in the bakery. So they agreed to send me a picture and I would see if this man was any good.
When they returned they sent over the pics and I did some digging about. It turns out the player was AS Roma legend Amedeo Amadei.
He was indeed a Frascati native born there on the 26th of July 1921.
As a footballer, he made his debut with AS Roma as a fifteen year old in 1937. He would score his first goal a week later. To this day Amedeo remains both the youngest ever player to play in Italy’s top flight and the youngest scorer too!
Amadei would play for Roma twice as well as staring for Atalanta , Inter and Napoli. He also represented ‘Gil Azzurri’ thirteen times, scoring on seven occasions. He was also selected by Italy for the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.
It turned out Amedeo Amadei was a very prolific goalscoring striker. His stats were fantastic. He managed 116 goals in 234 Serie A appearances for ‘I Giallorossi’.
As a player he played with guile, pace and possessed great technical skills. He would play up-front and on both wings during his career.
During World War Two, Serie A only stopped for one season (1944-45). Amedeo would clinch his only league title with Roma during the war years (1941-42). That title would actually be the capital sides first ever Scudetto.
He would end up managing Napoli between 1956-61 although Annibale Frossi took charge for a few months in 1959. Signore Amadei would also take charge of the national ladies team during most of the seventies.
The great man would hold two nicknames. He was called l’Ottavo Re di Roma translating as the eighth king of Rome, he would be inducted into AS Roma’s hall of fame. He was also known as il Fornaretto (the little baker). Why il Fornaretto? Well his family ran that bakery in Frascati, established in 1876!
A young Amedeo would help the family business out by delivering bread to other shops in the town. The story goes that Amedeo skipped his bread duties to go to a trial for Roma. His dad would try and persuade his young son that his career was destined to be with the oven but his family helped out and he realised his dream and he became a footballer.
In November last year Amedeo Amadei passed away aged 92. He died back where it all started, in his home town. The streets of Frascati were mobbed with mourners, saddened by the death of a beloved hero.
The bakery still stands and it’s great that they still honour Amedeo. I wish I knew his story five years ago when I was in Frascati, tasting the three boobied cookies (a bit solid for my liking).
This is why I love the internet and having a blog. I learned about a gentleman who I found affinity with just because I happened to visit his home town one summers day five years ago. Now I can write this and say ‘Ciao Amedeo Amadei and grazie for catching my imagination!’
Also congratulations Paul and Lauren on celebrating your five year anniversary and thank you for asking me to be the best man at your wonderful wedding.
In the picture below I like to think I am signing for AS Roma…
Posted on August 19th, 2014 by scott
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